Sunday, January 08, 2006

My Heart Starts Missing a beat

I recently rented a screener copy of The Beat My Heart Skipped (coincidentally, this is illegal on the part of the renter, but alas...) which is a French remake of the 1978 Fingers. However, director Jacques Audiard infuses the story with the requisite spunk to distinguish it apart from its origine so as to not resemble all of these current Hollywood facsimiles. There are some times when you watch a film and you know, straight off the bat that you are going to like it. And old instructor of mine argued that you can tell with every film five minutes in if you are going to like it. I don't necessarily agree with that, but one minute into De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (which litterally translates to My Heart Stopped Beating) I was hooked.There'ses something intentionally small about the movies intentions that allows everything contained within it to swell from whisper to scream(a thing the film seldom does), from mise en scene to melodramatic swooping cinematography.

The film begins with a personaanecdotete about the mental decline of ones father. From the camera's focus, it is apparent that this confession does not come from our protagonist, but the tone created here, is carriethroughoutht the film. That Thomas (an alarmingly convincing and devastatingly beautiful) labors to become a concert pianist is not considered with the superfluous brevity that a film like Hillary and Jackie (which I have admittedly not seen, but I assume...) treats this matter as life or death withouacknowledgingng its "drop in the bucket" actuality. Also of little significance is Thomas' current gig as a "real estatehooliganan, infesting rats in homes and scarintenantsts late with rent. The first forty minutes of the film has an impressive amount of exuberance and though this does die down, the narrative works well to propel you ahead. Thus, the film never lags or overly poeticizes its contents. Aside from Duris, who truly steals the show, this is the real treat of the film. In a time when everything has 42 ounces of schmaltz poured all over it, when a film like De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté comes along, it truly makes you appreciate honesty in cinema. Whenever Wellspring sorts out the travesty that is the films' home distribution (apparently they sent every store in the country screeners instead of rental copies) I would certairecommendmend checking this one out. You won't find a film this honest in a long time.


Blogger J said...

I had to watch a screener copy as well.

6:06 AM  

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